On the Frontline of Conservation – Changing the “OR” to “AND”

It’s four in the morning and I am sitting in a blind at a waterhole in the midst of Kenya’s famous Maasai Mara ecosystem. The visible sky beyond the blind is covered in so many stars that I finally have a sense for how big a million-billion really is.

On the ground though, my visibility is limited to just a few feet in the absolute darkness beyond the confines of the branches and sticks that make up this makeshift enclosure that surrounds me. In the pitch blackness, I can’t detect the animals I am here to observe without the aid of night vision binoculars, but the cacophony of sounds leaves no doubt that I am completely surrounded by life. A loud orchestra of frogs, toads and insects serenades me so that I can easily stay awake during my shift. An occasional bark from a hyena or grunt from a hippo reminds me that larger four legged creatures also prowl the night. The local leopard though is nowhere to be seen or heard tonight.

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Into Africa – A Perfectly Wild Day In the Maasai Mara

I love Kenya. I love the elephants and the giraffes and the zebra and the rhinos and all the myriad wildlife that is so unique to this part of the planet. For me, nothing beats the exhilaration of seeing a baby elephant trying to figure out how to use its trunk or watching the graceful slow motion ballet of a running giraffe. A recent day in the Maasai Mara gave me the chance to experience all of this and much, much more.

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25 Photos to Inspire You to Visit the Enonkishu Conservancy in Kenya

Kenya’s biggest tourism draw is the diversity of its wonderful animal wildlife. On my recent volunteer citizen science trip with Biosphere Expeditions, I spent twelve days working at the Enonkishu Conservancy in the Mara area of Kenya, helping to collect data about the biodiversity in this new conservancy land (you can read my detailed post about my experience here). Looking at the abundance of green grass and the many species of ungulates that were taking advantage of it, it was hard to believe that only a few years ago this land was barren and overgrazed by cattle. I am sharing some of my favorite photos that I was privileged to take to inspire you to visit the Enonkishu Conservancy.

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Volunteering as a Citizen Scientist in Kenya – A Biosphere Expeditions Review

I have heard it said that Africa gets under your skin. I certainly found that to be the case after my safari to Kenya and Tanzania last summer. So, I jumped at the chance for a press spot as a volunteer citizen scientist in the inaugural Biosphere Expeditions program in the Maasai Mara in Kenya.

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PhotoPOSTcard: Resting Eland

The diversity of different types of antelope species in the Mara area of Kenya is astounding. At first glance, they all look very much alike, but after a few days of looking at the wildlife, it gets easier to distinguish them apart. The body size, the markings and especially the horn size and shape makes each species completely unique. Here,  an eland, which is on of the largest of the antelope species,  relaxes in the early morning sun.

My trip to the Enonkishu Conservancy was hosted by Biospheres Expeditions. All content is my own.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Piggy Love

I think warthogs are kind of cute, in a gruff way. As these two approached each other at a full gallop, I thought they were going to fight, but instead, they greeted each other with familiarity and love, nuzzling each other with great joy. And the rain did not bother them one bit either.

My trip to the Enonkishu Conservancy in Kenya’s Maasai Mara was hosted by Biosphere Expeditions. All Content is my own.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: A Living Dinosaur

Is there anything more prehistoric looking than a Nile Crocodile?  This big guy was sunning himself on the banks of the Mara River just below our camp in the Enonkishu Conservancy. Fortunately, there was a 15 foot straight drop between us and the croc so I had no worries about becoming his dinner. I could just admire him from afar – which is exactly how I liked it.

My trip to the Enonkishu Conservancy in Kenya’s Maasai Mara was hosted by Biosphere Expeditions. All Content is my own.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

 

PhotoPOSTcard: How to Feed a Baby Zebra

This little zebra eagerly nursed while its mother stood patiently by, waiting for her baby to get its fill – much like my little grandson back home.

My trip to the Enonkishu Conservancy in Kenya’s Maasai Mara was hosted by Biosphere Expeditions. All Content is my own.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: My Name is Thomson

Of all the antelope species grazing in the Maasai Mara grasslands, the Thomson’s gazelles (or Tommies) are the easiest to spot because of the black stripe on each side. They are very prolific, yet I never tired of seeing them. With the stripe that almost looks like a lopsided smile and their bouncy gait when they run, they seemed like such a happy looking animal that always made me smile. Tommies can run up to 50-55 miles per hour-they have to be fast to try and stay ahead of a cheetah, their primary predator.

My trip to the Enonkishu Conservancy in Kenya’s Maasai Mara was hosted by Biosphere Expeditions. All Content is my own.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: I Love You Mom

One of the things I loved about my recent trip to the Enonkishu Conservancy in the Maasai Mara area of Kenya was the opportunity to observe animals socializing in their natural habitat. I was especially surprised by the affection I observed between mates of various species and between the mothers and their young.

My trip to the Enonkishu Conservancy in Kenya was hosted by Biosphere Expeditions. All Content is my own.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose